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At the Rink: Kings at Panthers

by Alain Poupart

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Veteran goalie Al Montoya will get the start for the Florida Panthers (8-8-4) when they play host to the Los Angeles Kings (12-8-0) on Monday at BB&T?Center (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, FS-F).

Montoya will make his first start since Nov. 5 when he gave up four goals on 31 shots in a 5-2 loss against the San Jose Sharks. He has a 2-1-1 record with a 2.22 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.

"I've been practicing hard, working hard, excited for this opportunity,"???Montoya said. "I???feel like I've earned it. Just want to go back out there and earn my chance to play."

Roberto Luongo started the past seven games for the Panthers, including a 5-4 overtime loss against the New York Rangers on Saturday.

Luongo took three shots to the head in the past two games, but Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said health was not an issue.

"[Montoya] deserves some work,"???Gallant said. "He's played real well. [Luongo] has played a lot of games. [Montoya] has been real good for us all year, so he'll get the chance to go tonight and hopefully not get too much work."

The Kings are coming off a 4-3 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday in the third game of a five-game road trip. They are 1-2-0 on the trip, which concludes Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"We know that we're not playing good enough right now,"???Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "Every single guy in that room knows that they need to step up their game. Both individually and as a team we all need to step up our game. We know we're not playing well and we know how much better we can play."

Starting goalie Jonathan Quick was pulled after the second period Sunday after allowing four goals on 21 shots.

Quick was the first goalie off the ice when the Kings had an optional skate Monday, and he's expected to get the call against the Panthers.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter said after the game Sunday that pulling Quick was not done to provide a spark.

"No, they scored four goals on 20 shots,"???Sutter said. "Not good enough."

Quick faced only 19 shots when the Kings beat the Panthers 4-1 at Staples Center on Nov. 7.

"Just looking to have a much better effort than we did in L.A.,"???said Panthers captain Willie Mitchell, a member of the Kings' 2014 Stanley Cup-winning team. "I???think we hung around for a little bit, but you can't hang around against a great team like that, that has experience. We're going to look to have a better start and know that they had a tough loss in Carolina, so we'll expect their 'A' game because we know Darryl will be pushing the right buttons."

Doughty will be looking to snap an unenviable streak Monday of seven consecutive games with at least one penalty.

"I've never really had one of these before,"???Doughty said. "It's bad. I???can't be taking penalties like that. The team needs me on the ice. They can't have me in the box, especially in PK???situations. That's a situation I'm pretty good in. I can't be taking that many penalties. I've got to get it out of my head because that's all I'm thinking about right now."

Here are the projected lines:


Tanner Pearson - Anze Kopitar - Marian Gaborik

Milan Lucic - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Dustin Brown - Nick Shore - Trevor Lewis

Kyle Clifford - Andy Andreoff - Jordan Nolan

Brayden McNabb - Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin - Alec Martinez

Derek Forbort - Jamie McBain

Jonathan Quick

Jhonas Enroth

Injured: Matt Greene (upper body), Dwight King (lower body)

Scratched:?????????Christian Ehrhoff, Jordan Weal


Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Jaromir Jagr

Jussi Jokinen - Nick Bjugstad - Reilly Smith

Brandon Pirri - Vincent Trocheck - Rocco Grimaldi

Quinton Howden - Derek MacKenzie - Shawn Thornton

Brian Campbell - Aaron Ekblad

Willie Mitchell - Erik Gudbranson

Steven Kampfer - Alex Petrovic

Al Montoya

Roberto Luongo

Injured: Dmitry Kulikov (lower body)

Scratched:?????????Garrett Wilson, Dave Bolland

Status report: Kulikov will miss his fourth game. Gallant said Kulikov's return was "not in the near future, but not that far off." … Bolland, who has one assist in his past seven games, will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season. "When things aren't going well, sometimes a game off doesn't hurt,"?????????Gallant said. "So we're going to try that, see how it goes."

Who's hot: Jagr, who has a three-game point streak, needs one goal to tie Marcel Dionne for fourth on the NHL's all-time list with 731. … Barkov has a goal in each of the past two games. … Muzzin has an assist in each of the past three games. … Kopitar has two goals and an assist in the past two games. … Both Kings goalies have had great success against the Panthers:???????????????????????????Quick is 6-2-0 with a 1.81 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage in eight games; Enroth is 3-1-1 with a 1.30 GAA???????????????????????????and a .961 save percentage in five games.

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